January is traditionally known as the time for new beginnings and starting afresh. It has also become known as 'Divorce Month', as many couples decide to go their separate ways around the beginning of the year.
Some of the reasons for taking this emotionally and financially fraught step include:
- COVID-19 fallout: Living under lockdown, sharing home and work space, home schooling, caring for ill family members, and adjusting to lower incomes have become too stressful for many couples to navigate.
- Holiday season: The year-end is when people take stock of their lives and decide to make changes. Many realise that their marriages are not working and conclude it will be best to dissolve the union.
- Family dynamics: Interacting with in-laws over the holiday break may highlight major differences between two families. Spending time with one’s own family may reinforce one’s own self-worth and give one the courage and support to make a major life change.
- Children: Many couples agree months beforehand to end their marriages, but delay filing divorce papers in order to have a final family holiday together for the sake of their children.